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Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend

Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend

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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:07 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: JDiver
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Upgrade Priority Change to Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD as of 20 May 2017

As of May 20, 2017 upgrade prioritization is:
  1. Elite status
    1. Concierge Key
    2. Executive Platinum
    3. Platinum Pro
    4. Platinum
    5. Gold
  2. Upgrade type
    1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
    2. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets (including EXP complimentary UDU)
    3. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards (including EXP complimentary UDU)
  3. Elite qualifying dollars* in the past 12 months

  4. Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)

  5. Time of request
*Your 12-month Rolling EQD value is different from your Year-to-Date (YTD) EQDs, which is used to track your progress toward elite status. It includes your EQD earned from reaching qualifying spend thresholds on eligible AAdvantage® AviatorTM MasterCard® cards.

Link to EQD earning Help Desk thread on FlyerTalk.

New Upgrade Priority Link to Gary Leff, View From the Wing 16 May 2017

No- or lower status companion and effect on upgrade position

WAIT LIST, SAME PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, stated as least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)

  • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

WAIT LIST, SEPARATE PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance

  • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

AIRPORT LIST, SAME PNR:
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, but is least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)

  • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

AIRPORT LIST, SEPARATE PNR:
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance

  • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

NOTES:
  1. Traveling companion 500 mile upgrades (even for those pax using UDU) "stickers" must pull from higher status passenger's account.

  2. Lower status passenger previously "borrowing" higher status may require human processing at the airport to re-establish "borrowed status" linkage

(Companion information thanks to DW)


Updated 8 June 2017 by JDiver
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Old May 16, 17, 1:34 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by ORD-DCA Flyer View Post
There could be a few EXPs who qualified in the first seven months of 2016 and haven't flown revenue since, but I'd think that to be exceedingly rare. Those elites would disappear next year anyways.
No, similar to what javabytes said: grrizzli's scenario will still be possible (though agreed, fairly uncommon) into the indefinite future. For example, say I qualify by 9/30/2017 and my next paid flight is between 10/1/2018 and 1/31/2019.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:34 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
Looks like if you use miles and copay for the upgrade you will trump comp upgrades within your elite level, regardless of spend.
I like this. It bothered me that complimentary upgrades were equal to SWUs and copay at the gate. Never made sense to me, at least.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:39 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: May 2015
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AA's website clarifies that:

Before you get to the airport, requests for systemwide and mileage award upgrades are processed independently from 500-mile upgrade requests.

At the airport, upgrades requested will be prioritized in this order:

Systemwide and mileage award upgrades
500-mile upgrades on purchased tickets
500-mile upgrades on award tickets
So for low-spend EXPs like me, we're faced with the dilemma of whether and when to request a mileage-copay upgrade. If we request a mileage-copay upgrade in advance, we risk losing a complimentary upgrade that clears before the 4-hour mark, but also increase our chances of an upgrade at the airport, by trumping those with higher spend.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:41 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43 View Post
I like this. It bothered me that complimentary upgrades were equal to SWUs and copay at the gate. Never made sense to me, at least.
Agree completely.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:44 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: La Jolla, CA, USA
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Smile

If not already a done deal, this will certainly eliminate the use of the stickers for most of the flights I would book for me and my wife as Lifetimes PLTs. We've been buying paid first (usually discounted) for the last couple of years as a recognition of the facts of life.

That said -- Hey, AA, how about giving a "goodwill" opportunity to convert the stickers (we probably have around 70* between us) into miles at some "reasonable" rate? *I just looked it up (36 + 34); pretty good guess. eh? [I'm not sure, but I think we could actually do that, and often did, many moons ago.]

I guess I'll put down my pipe now.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:45 pm
  #36  
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So much for the "second half of 2017."...

I'm AA's worst type of Elite Member--180,000 EQMs in 2016 with less than $10k in rolling EQDs as I've only flown 2k miles in 2017.

I've had a SWU request on my July LAX-LHR flight since Sept 2016. That thing still hasn't effing cleared.

Sure hope this doesn't screw me on that flight, as it's my last SWU.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:53 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat
Posts: 215
I see my complimentary upgrades completely fizzling out. So i'll give it a six month trial and then i'm off to Alaska.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:54 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
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So glad to be out of the gAAme this year.
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Old May 16, 17, 1:57 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
I guess this will also apply to upgrades to Business when the PE cabin exists??
Originally Posted by oysterhead43 View Post
New perk for upgrades on award tickets applies to domestic only.
I did not mention award tickets.

I think there was no clarity as to how upgrades work when an aircraft has Premium Economy.

As of right now, AFAIK, an SWU can upgrade you straight from Y to J. A SWU can also be used to upgrade from PE to J.

Based on this new information, since booking code is the last priority, booking PE won't give any advantage to anybody in the upgrade priority, with the exception of those extreme cases where someone has exactly the same rolling EQDs, which I think will be very rare?

It had even been speculated that a PLAT in PE would trump an EXP in Y in the upgrade priority list to J. But it seems that is false, based on this published new rules?
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Old May 16, 17, 1:58 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by grrizzli View Post
Points 4 and 5 will be in play when pax have 0 EQDs. One can still be an EXP without spending a dollar on AA in the past 12 months.
Sure. But one can also be an EXP and have a lot of EQDs without spending a dollar on AA...course upgrades are going to be irrelevant in most of these circumstances.

----

It'll be interesting to see how this affects me. I'm an advance purchase guy, but with a very spiky profile (really intense travel periods, flowed by significant downtime, repeat.).

That said, a notable number of my SWUs over the last 2 years have cleared at the gate in situations where the entire waitlist cleared. So...
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Old May 16, 17, 2:03 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jay_dubya View Post
Exactly. On delta
Ha - Delta was on point when I flew them last week.

Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer View Post
Anyone want to speculate about whether it's based on your 12 month EQD tally at time of purchase, or on EQDs flown at the time of the upgrade becoming available/clearing?

Your rolling EQD tally over the past 12 months can go up or down on a day to day basis.
Personally, I'd like to see them calculate rolling EQD count for upgrades down to the minute of the actual upgrade granting. That way, we'd get some fantastic stories of random flight delays throwing the entire boarding area into chaos as No. 1 drops down to No. 3 and misses when boarding on whatever flight gets put off for this reason or that. Hilarious!

Last edited by 869; May 16, 17 at 2:05 pm Reason: removed hashtaggery
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Old May 16, 17, 2:17 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43 View Post
Can someone remind me? As an EXP, once I run out of 500-mile stickers, how do I get more to use the award upgrade perk?

EDIT: as an EXP, do I even need to use stickers for a domestic award upgrade? I have unlimited 500-mile upgrades right?
No need for them for you. Companion requires them. You must buy. You get unlimited complementary upgrades, not unlimited 500 mile upgrade stickers. EXP don't earn any.
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Old May 16, 17, 2:21 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
For Plat and Gold, this maybe very disruptive.
I think this is going to benefit me, but it sure will be interesting to see. I'm PLT and tend to book 1-2 weeks in advance. I spend 2-3x the number of EQDs needed to qualify for my status.

I've always figured being waaay down the upgrade list that early booking taking priority was heavily to my disadvantage. Maybe my upgrades will clear occasionally now!

I wonder if eventually they will allow qualification for status based on revenue alone. FF programs have always been so strange in favoring low cost fares and connecting flights.
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Old May 16, 17, 2:24 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
I think it could be somewhat common for two elites at the same level to have $0 rolling EQD. Whether it's elites who took a long pause from flying, those just starting out after being granted status during a challenge, etc.
Those Lifetime PLTs who don't fly as much as before
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Old May 16, 17, 2:27 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
I agree with the point about putting the almost useless tie breakers of booking code and date/time stamp. I can't imagine the exact same two EQDs from running twelve months.

We have to accept that early bookings and fare class will almost always not matter for revenue fare bookings eligible under this system.

I think having EXP and higher will still be mostly useful as I think many flights still get a few Plat Pros upgrade. For Plat and Gold, this maybe very disruptive. I am not sure how many EXPs fly on domestic awards because that would be disruptive to their elite accruals and booking for others alone won't count unlike United's (old) system.

Rasheed
How is the new system any more unfavorable for Plats and Golds?
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